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Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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Comments

  • mishmash1mishmash1 Posts: 16
    Hi everyone,

    Interesting thread. Although I agree with most of whats been said I must say that MB's misfire on the R-class has been my gain. Where else can you get a $60,000 vehicle at a Toyota Sienna lease price. Talk about value!! My wife absolutely loves it. We were waiting for the Audi Q7 but could not pass up the deal MB is offering right now. Does it look like..... a minivan? Slightly.....a glorified Pacifica? maybe. But let me tell you THIS IS NO PACIFICA. I owned one and the ride and luxuries of the R-class are beyond compare. One positive side effect of the MB misfire might be to attract NEW MB owners, albeit at a $$$ loss for now. Time will tell. THANK YOU MB!!!! :D
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Can you go to IKEA with 5 kids and bring back 2 file cabinets and a desk home? A freind of mine just did that yesterday with a Sienna.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Hmmmmmmm. I am 43, 13/11 children, married. Traded wife's 98 E320 for R350 and I was driving a 82 300td with 70k miles on it until I leased a 350CLK recently. When I saw the R the first time, I called the wife to come see it. I bought it before I drove it (in my mind). I don't have a building supply hauler anymore.... but that is a good thing. hehehehehe
    We are the same demo (before the CLK)so why would I buy and you not?
    Why would you drive a wagon and not the R? It is easier to get in and out of, roomier, better suspension, safer.... The only draw back is backing it up. What are its shortcomings?
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Nope! You can't. But I drove a rental one of those in Breckenridge and I was scared. That FWD BS just stinks in the wet and snow. We were getting 3-5 inches per day and every time I got in it I hated it. All I could think was, " Man, I wish I had my R out here". 4WD plus the best traction control period coupled with those huge tires would have been heaven. I missed a concert in Aspen just because I was afraid of the drive over. The Hyatt in Beaver Creek used the R Class this season for their shuttle vehicles.
    My view is that the other 364 days a year you would have to drive a Sienna.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    She lives in the Northeast and it is an XLE LTD AWD Sienna with blue-tooth, voice-activated navigation, laser cruise, back-up camera, traction control, vechicle stability control, parallel-parking assist, etc. It is a lot more and better vehicle than the R class 365 days a year by any measure.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    by any measure.
    Wow.
    So you don't want your rear passengers to be able to roll down their windows all the way or control their own A/C, audio component, heated seats... wait, does the Sienna offer rear heated seats?
    Alls I'm sayin is, by any measure means ANY. I like the features you mentioned, but if it came down to voice activated controls over adjustable air suspension with double wishbone front arms etc.....
    by any measure
    except displacement, torque, and horsepower you mean.
    I get it, camera over parktronic and voice activated over manual NAVI are the measure. Size matters to you and it is bigger. I can't argue that it is bigger.
    So you drove both and hated the R?
  • wopelwopel Posts: 92
    I guess what I really wanted was my wagon, but bigger. The R is bigger, but then it doesn't have a bench seat in the middle, and I don't care about hauling people (it's all about the dogs!), so I don't want the 3rd row of seats. In my 98 wagon the seats were not an option, but in my 300td they were, and I had more storage space. I want a bench seat so I can have the dog barrier. I don't want to spend money on a console.
    I do especially like the idea of the 3 zone climate control. But going back to the wagon - I want roof rails. I do haul 4x8 sheets of things occasionally and I'm not going to put them in the car! I realize I can't have the roof rack/rails on the roof itself, due to the panaroma roof, but rails would be nice. Even some of the Pacificas have the rails. Thankfully my Thule roof box can most likely go on the car.
    The options, options, options bug me - they aren't options, they're a must!
    I wish it had the hood ornament so I could see where the front end started and ended, but no, I must opt for parktronic - YIKES!
    I am the perfect demo for what MB had in mind, I just wish they had called me first!
    I complain and I whine about it, and I'm arrogant in my choice of cars, but I don't see any other option! I need more space and I really want the added aircon, as we know, the Germans of old didn't do a very good job on air-conditioning!
    The more happy R owners I read about, the closer I get! The next question is if I jump, do I wait for the 2007?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A little advice, don't waste your time debating the R there.

    M
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    A little advice, don't waste your time debating the R there.
    I know, but it is always fun. Especially when someone says that they know someone who has the very best ______ that ANYONE could own. But they don't have one.
  • wopelwopel Posts: 92
    I was talking to the sales manager at my MB dealer and he thinks MB is going to stop the $5000 incentive. Anyone else hear about this?
    Also, any thoughts on the diesel R that's supposed to come out in October?
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Also, any thoughts on the diesel R that's supposed to come out in October?
    With the added torque I think it will be an asset. Improved mileage is a plus.
    I do not feel it will end due to sales and the price point being missed by MBUSA. Incentives are released about 1 week into the month, so a mgr should not have that info. FYI I don't either.
  • wopelwopel Posts: 92
    I don't drive much anymore, so is it a mistake to buy a diesel? We go on a couple of long trips a year, but otherwise it's short hops in town.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    If you average 10,000 miles per year in your vehicle and it gets an average of 20mpg you use 500 gallons of gas (pretty good math, huh?) If the price of gas escalates $2.00 per gallon more than it is today($5.00) it costs you a thousand bux more annually to drive the same car. To some that is a drop in the bucket; to others it is a big expense. If you drive a lot of miles annually it may make sense to seek out alternatives. If you drive a minimal amount(less than 10,000 annually) I don't see where you should worry at all about mpg numbers. If you want a Diesel for other performance reasons(i.e., hauling) then you may want to look into it, but finding convenient access to diesel fuel may be an issue for you.

    The premium price on many Hybrids(not all) makes them just about impractical when you try to calculate any kind of payback as we have seen. People buy them because they believe in their haart they are doing the right thing for the planet.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    Keep in mind that diesel is also at least a biy more expensive in many parts of the country than even premium unleaded. That, plus the premium that MB usually charges for diesels over the gas-powered equivalent also needs to be factored into the value equation.
  • wopelwopel Posts: 92
    I drove diesels for years (when I drove a lot) - started in a VW rabbit and then on to a 300td MB wagon. Then they stopped shipping the diesel wagons to the US so I moved on the the gas wagon.
    Of course, I do know where the local diesel stops are, but I would guess it'll be more truck stops on a trip.
    A friend of mine has 300 diesel (2005?) and raves about getting 40 mpg. Wouldn't that be nice.
    I'm going to take a look at a GL this weekend if I find time.
    Thanks for your input.
  • rclassfanrclassfan Posts: 5
    The windscreen on our new r-class cracked today with a small road stone... the interesting aspect though is the crack goes right to the edge, not where the stone hit

    I have heard on other models this can be when the factory fitted windscreens are not fitted well (i.e., over tight in some areas). Has anyone else heard of this on the R-class?

    Would you get it replaced at a MB dealer or just a glass shop covered by insurance?
  • templeton3templeton3 Posts: 69
    Have you noticed that some of the R Class have the 4-Matic on the right rear cargo door and some don't. I wonder why.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    They started badging everything with 4Matic with that after a certan production date. Later model ML/R and all GL models will say 4Matic. They really didn't need to do that IMO, 4Matic is a given on any MB SUV.

    M
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    More branding nonsense by the crack MBUSA marketing staff. I guess they feel the need to compete with the "quattro" and "x-drive" brands.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Did you read that some of marketing people in Jersey are being let go over the R-Class? Oh well you make your bed you have to lay in it!

    M
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    yes, I had heard that rumor. As I have been there myself, I hate to see anyone "rightsized," but the R marketing scheme was completely bone-headed.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I bet the fallout has been something around the office! I wonder what they'll do for the next generation R, if there is one. It is amazing though because the R had a long lead from 2002 onwards as a concept and the interest seemed to be sky high during promotion, but then it hit the showroom floor with a thud. Here is a post I made over at MBWorld.org:

    This is hot topic right now, the lackluster sales of the R-Class. I'm seeing more and move them on the roads, but if you look at the sales figures they're way up one month and then down the next.

    I think the R missed the target for several reasons. First off they styling went got killed from concept to production. That concept "Vision GST" was stunning both inside and out. Of course the Lamborghini-style doors couldn't make production, but the body should have been kept as close to the concept as possible. Mercedes is more than capable of doing this, witness the Vision CLS and the production CLS, both gorgeous and the production model barely lost anything compared to the original concept. So styling is one issue, a big one from what I see people write about the R on other forums. First flaw: Styling - it strayed to far from the concept.

    Next up is the interior. Again the concept had a much better looking interior with a futuristic looking twin-post design with lots of real aluminum and what not. Ok some of that has to be toned down for production, but the design/layout should have been kept the same. Then there is a quality of materials issue that still plauges the Bama made cars. Yes they're all better than the original ML in both design and quality, but there are other products in the SUV/Crossover segment with better built interiors with greater material and assembly quality. A Mercedes is not supposed to be surpassed in this area. Period especially at an opening price of around 50K. If Mercedes is going to market the R (as they initially intended) as executive transport for 6 then the interior should be a knock out in both quality and design, something futuristic an unlike any other Mercedes would have done the trick along with material quality like that of the new S or the CLS. Second Flaw: interior design/styling and quality (for the price and mission of the vehicle they aren't up to snuff).

    There there is the issue of price vs standard equipment. Simply put there are too many options and not enough standard equipment. Since the the R doesn't appeal a executive express for 6 it is being cross-shopped with minivans and no matter how clueless a buyer may be about a Mercedes' other virtues they'll always compare the window sticker equipment to a common minvan and the R doesn't favor well, unless you spend another 10-12K in options which by then the price is way to high for this type of buyer. Third Flaw: Value equation is way out of whack even for a Mercedes.

    Overall the R isn't practical enough to be called or function as a minivan and it isn't styling or luxurious enough to live up to the initial promise of the concept being a new type of executive express for 6 people. A jack of a all trades and a master of none if you will. So the road is going to be long and hard for the R until it gets a re-design in 2012 if the typial 7 years apply. I can't imagine it going that long and still selling in good enough numbers for it to make sense to keep producing it.

    That said, the R320 CDI should be somewhat popular and I guess the result of all this surveying will be a re-package of the equipment and options. Now what I don't get is why Mercedes isn't putting the new V8s in the R (or ML) for 2007. Now that is just plain dumb. My little theory for this is that they're waiting for the V8s to be fitted with direct-injection for more power and less consumption for the U.S. market. Afterall what other reason could there be for not selling the new GL500 (our 550) in the U.S. when it is on sale already in Europe? If this happens it will be for the 2008 model year, next spring at the earliest....a long time for the now ancient SOHC V8 to soldier on.


    I think that pretty much sums it up.

    M
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I agree with much that you write, but I don't necessarily agree that the R isn't practical. If you listen to or read what owners say, they love it, by and large. At least for me, it is the most versatile vehicle I have owned. I think there is a market for it, perhaps not in as great a number as MB expected, but MB blew it by targeting it, and equiping/pricing it, for the wrong demographic -- this should not have been targeted to the S-Class set looking for additional seats, but to families who wanted something other than a minivan or SUV, but needed the functionality of both, plus the luxury, engineering and driving characteristics of Mercedes. I don't believe that there is a dearth of prospective buyers out there. But it may be that MB doesn't know how to reach them. :sick:
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    I caved and bought an Odyssey Touring w/NAVI and Rear Entertainment System for my wife. $1500 under invoice and at $33,947 plus TTL, it's too good of a deal to pass up. Say what you want about that, but Mercedes blew it for me on the R. In 2012 I'll be out of the market for the R(and any minvan/SUV/people hauler for that matter). I honestly hope you all who have purchased an R-class don't get killed on resale/trade. Good motoring to you all and we'll see you on the highways! :)
  • templeton3templeton3 Posts: 69
    The Odyssey is a great bang for the bucks. Great van, high on reliability, safety and resale. The only great thing about the R class is that leasing it is very cheap. If I had to pay cash for the car, I would buy the Honda because it retains it value. The value of the R Class goes down rapidly and is not as reliable as the Honda. We were able to lease a $54,000 car, 27 months, 15,000 miles per year at $499 plus tax a month is not a bad deal. By the way drive off was $1400.00.
  • jabbahopjabbahop Posts: 3
    The R works for me. I've owned an ML with the 3rd row seats for 6 years and now my three boys are getting big enough that the back space is cramped. I have four requirements for the car...

    1) I need space between the kids - this means three rows of seats. The "Will you stop touching me" episodes will lead to airbag deployment!
    2) I need to have a full sized seats in the third row. My kids are growing daily and I don't want cramped quarters or I have more fights
    3) It needs to be easy to get in the back.
    4) It has to have 4 wheel drive.

    I've looked at full sized SUVs but they are too hogish and it still isn't easy to access the back seat in many of them.

    I've looked at minivans but only the Sienna has 4 wheel drive. At this point I can't bring myself to drive a minivan even though they are quite nice and incredibly functional.

    I've looked at the R - for me it seems like the right set of features for us.

    I am probably not typical but a Sports Family Hauler is a better term than Sport Tourer for us. Not sexy but I have to think that there are bunches of family that would love something more sexy than a van but with much of its practicality.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think there is a market for it, perhaps not in as great a number as MB expected, but MB blew it by targeting it, and equiping/pricing it, for the wrong demographic -- this should not have been targeted to the S-Class set looking for additional seats, but to families who wanted something other than a minivan or SUV, but needed the functionality of both, plus the luxury, engineering and driving characteristics of Mercedes. I don't believe that there is a dearth of prospective buyers out there. But it may be that MB doesn't know how to reach them.

    This might have been the way to go, but then wouldn't price be a problem??

    M
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    Bingo. The pricing -- or rather perceived value for $$ -- IS the problem for the R, given its demographic sweet spot. On the other hand, MB doesnt seem to have any problems moving very well equipped M-Classes, and likely will sell a bunch of GL's, which again suggests that marketing muffed this punt.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    Sorry about the late post. Mercedes glass is labeled, but the same glass is made on the same line as PPG. It won't be labeled MB and it may raise questions on trade in. That said, there is an issue with independents replacing glass and trying to reuse the sensors. Don't let them do it! Since this is through insurance, why would you not let MB do it? This is a structural part of the cabin and is glued in precisely. The glass through MB will have a new sensor area. If you don't go MB you can still buy the white sticker through parts.
    I have seen very few issues like yours on the service drive. I have seen it though, if the impact was "near" the edge. In seven years I have witnessed only 2 stress fractures without impact. I have a loop just for this issue.
    My suggestion is go to the Dealer or you might get your drains glued shut and inoperable rain sensor, interior lamps, dash lights to bright, questions raised at trade in due to red flags.
  • rclassfanrclassfan Posts: 5
    Many thanks, benzster, for the informative post on windscreen replacement... we'll probably get it done at the 1000 mile check up then at MB.

    When you say you have a loop for this issue, I presume you mean when you service them in the shop, not something I should have?
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